StartupNation » public relations http://www.startupnation.com Rock Your Business! Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:00:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Copyright © StartupNation 2014 webmaster@startupnation.com (StartupNation Media Group, INC) webmaster@startupnation.com (StartupNation Media Group, INC) business 1440 http://www.startupnation.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/rss-feed-logo.png StartupNation http://www.startupnation.com 144 144 StartupNation provides content, resources, and community to help you build your business. StartupNation offers articles, blogs, step-by-step tutorials, a weekly radio show, community forums, and many more resources to help small businesses grow their business, and aspiring entrepreneurs start a business. small, business, entrepreneur, startupnation, marketing, business, plan, funding, inventor, home, business, sales StartupNation Media Group, INC StartupNation Media Group, INC webmaster@startupnation.com no no The Dark Side of Smartphones http://www.startupnation.com/grow-your-business/leverage-business-technology/dark-side-smartphones/ http://www.startupnation.com/grow-your-business/leverage-business-technology/dark-side-smartphones/#comments Wed, 11 Mar 2015 11:00:36 +0000 http://www.startupnation.com/?p=16981 The Dark Side of Smartphones Today’s Quote: I like to hang out with people who make me forget to look at my phone. Although the smartphone is one of the most amazing devices ever invented, it does have a dark side. Walk into any restaurant and you’ll see people out to eat as a family, [...]

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The Dark Side of Smartphones

Today’s Quote:

I like to hang out with people who make me forget to look at my phone.

Photo from Flickr by Michael Coghlan

Photo from Flickr by Michael Coghlan

Although the smartphone is one of the most amazing devices ever invented, it does have a dark side.

Walk into any restaurant and you’ll see people out to eat as a family, yet tuning out of the experience by looking down at their phones, texting friends or scrolling through social media feeds. What does this mean in terms of the relationships and interpersonal communications that “make the world go round”?

In this YouTube video from Global Report News, we learn that those who are so deeply attached to their phone that they can’t turn it off no matter where they are or what company they are keeping, are less likely to be happy than those who can resist a ring or turn their phones completely off.

A Kent State University Study of 500 students showed that those who were avid mobile phone users suffered from higher anxiety, and their class work was inferior to those who were able and willing to switch off. The phone heightened their anxiety, and many felt obligated to keep in constant touch. I would expect the results to be similar, if not even more profound, if the study were replicated in the workforce.

What if you were to give particular attention today to how often the people around you tune out the rest of the world by focusing on their “magic box”? Great observation spots for this activity would be at the conference table, walking to and from a parking lot, during meals at restaurants or in your home, the library – even in houses of worship. What do you notice?

EXERCISE:

If you could have a meal with any fascinating person in the world – current, or historical – whom would you choose? How likely would you be to answer your phone in the midst of this meal? How would you feel if they cut you off to take a chatty, informal call? How can you become so interested and engaged that you would never think of of answering or checking your phone, without good reason, in the presence of another person?

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Are Your Press Quotes Newsworthy? http://www.startupnation.com/grow-your-business/press-quotes-newsworthy/ http://www.startupnation.com/grow-your-business/press-quotes-newsworthy/#comments Thu, 06 Mar 2014 16:01:51 +0000 http://www.startupnation.com/?p=11167 Yeah. Yeah. We know you’re “excited” about the news! You’ve all seen this before… “We are thrilled to have…” “We are so excited to be working with…” Guess what? I have a little secret for you – we already know you are excited and thrilled with the news. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be distributing a press [...]

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Yeah. Yeah. We know you’re “excited” about the news!

You’ve all seen this before…

“We are thrilled to have…”

“We are so excited to be working with…”

Guess what?

I have a little secret for you – we already know you are excited and thrilled with the news. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be distributing a press release now, would you?

This is just one of my pet-peeves when it comes to press releases. And if you are in the process of writing a press release, here are a few quick things to keep in mind when it comes to quoting others.

1.  Provide value.

Before writing, think about why your news is important to others. Include valuable information that is actually newsworthy. For your quotes, include a new insight, personal opinion or data about the news that your target market will find interesting.

2.  Add SEO.

Quotes are often pulled-out of press releases and inserted into media-venues “as is” so why not make the most of them?

With this in mind, try to include search engine optimization (SEO) keywords in your quotes. They will stand out, and a potential customer may find your business online via the press release and make a purchase!

3.  Keep it short.

When inserting a quote into your release, keep it short and sweet. Get to the point and make it reader-friendly.

4.  Pick the right person.

When writing a press release, try to have a business executive and someone outside of your organization provide the quotes. People want to hear from the leaders of an organization and from an outside party– not the PR or marketing professional. You’ll instantly add more credibility to your release.

What will your quote be?

These are just a few, quick tips to help you write better quotes for your press releases. Since you’re spending the time and effort to distribute news, why not get the most out of it that you possibly can?

 

If you need additional help with your public relations and SEO content strategy to boost sales, please write to me here or at www.rembrandtwrites.com.

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Reality TV Entrepreneur Starts Quick Couponing http://www.startupnation.com/start-your-business/launch-a-home-business/reality-tv-entrepreneur-starts-quick-couponing/ http://www.startupnation.com/start-your-business/launch-a-home-business/reality-tv-entrepreneur-starts-quick-couponing/#comments Fri, 18 Oct 2013 12:17:16 +0000 http://www.startupnation.com/?p=9525 How a Mother of Four Turned her Quest for Saving into a New Business If you are a struggling entrepreneur who is trying to take care of your family, save money and be a rock star business owner, you’ll love this story. Meet Pamela Davis. When her grocery bills skyrocketed, she decided to do something [...]

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How a Mother of Four Turned her Quest for Saving into a New Business

If you are a struggling entrepreneur who is trying to take care of your family, save money and be a rock star business owner, you’ll love this story.

Meet Pamela Davis. When her grocery bills skyrocketed, she decided to do something about it and started couponing. The results were astounding, and not only did she end up saving hundreds of dollars and was featured on TLC’s Extreme Couponing, but she turned her love of couponing into a successful business.

Pam Davis of Quick Couponing, www.quickcouponing.com

Pam Davis of Quick Couponing, www.quickcouponing.com

Here’s what Pam had to say…

Why did you start Quick Couponing and what is it?

I started Quick Couponing, www.quickcouponing.com, for all of the people who wanted to learn how to coupon like an extreme couponer but thought to themselves, “there’s just not enough hours in the day.” I am a mother of four and a wife of one, and besides being completely and utterly in love with my husband and kids, I am also in love with saving money and realized after giving birth to my youngest daughter that I was destined to become a “couponer.”

It all started as a mission to save money on diapers, wipes and formula. And in a few short years, has turned into saving thousands of dollars each year on groceries to feed my fairly large blended family, an appearance on Season 4 of TLC’s Extreme Couponing and finding my destiny to launch a business dedicated to help other people and families to do the same.

Quick Couponing is an online training program designed to teach you how to save 50% or more off of your monthly grocery expenses while not having to dedicate a ton of time. This educational video series is designed to take you step-by-step, from someone who may use coupons or someone who doesn’t, and turn you into a strategic shopper who will save thousands of dollars on your grocery bills each year.

www.quickcouponing.com

www.quickcouponing.com

In just a few short weeks, you will learn the secrets that many extreme couponers covet, tips that allow you to apply these skills in a practical manor (helping you to save time as well as money) and begin creating a personal stockpile of items you use the most for a fraction of the regular price. Quick Couponing is not only the fastest way to learn how to coupons to save 50% or more on your grocery bill, but it also is a program that pays for itself with a money back guarantee.

How much have you saved since you started couponing?

Wow. Well, let’s see. I started couponing in 2010 when my youngest daughter was born, and that was the year that I saved the least, approximately $5,000. In 2011, I kicked my savings game into overtime and developed the system that has now evolved into the Quick Couponing Training Program. And since then, I have saved approximately $10 – $12K each year. So as of now, I have saved approximately $35,000 from couponing since I began.

That’s fantastic Pam! But what do you have to say to the many entrepreneurs out there who don’t have time for couponing?

As a business owner, you know that there are two primary ways to make money #1 Top line growth (i.e. selling more products or services) and #2 Bottom Line Savings (i.e. cutting cost and reducing expenses).

Couponing is another tool at your disposal to help you accomplish #2 and the best part about it is that it pays for itself. This means the time you invest in couponing, you actually see in cash flow that can be reinvested into your business.

The biggest misnomer is that it takes a ton of time and this is only true if you do not have a process and a cadence. The Quick Couponing Training Program provides that for you in a few short weeks basically for free. So to say you don’t have time is saying that you don’t have time to cut costs and reduce expenses in your business and as a fellow entrepreneur, I know that this is not a mentality that will lead you to continued success. So just like any other critical element in your business, make time; delegate to a team member who has the bandwidth, but whatever you do, don’t leave cash on the table.

What marketing and public relations activities have been successful for you and why?

Initially, we did some social media advertising which has brought many new people to our site at a reasonable cost. But to increase our customer base, we are really focusing on providing value through a newsletter, free reports, videos, blogs, and more. And recently, we started public relations activities such as SEO press releases, media pitching, etc. to get the word out. So far, we have seen some good results, but this is just the beginning.

What advice do you have for Moms who want to start their own businesses?

Just do it. Start now. As Moms, we always have 101 things going on at one time and because of this, we tend to put everyone else’s wants and needs before our own. Well, stop. If you have a desire to start a business, put on your Nike’s and JUST DO IT! Seriously.

Stop researching every element, stop waiting for the kids to get older or your husband to work less hours or any other thing that involves you prolonging your dream. You don’t have to take leaps and create a seven figure business in three months (if you do that’s awesome and call me), but start with the basics and carve out “some” time, a few hours a week if that is all you have to spare and just get started.

Register with the state, join your local Small Business Administration and get connected with other women entrepreneurs with similar values and goals. Baby steps may be required, but make sure that you are taking steps forward, no matter how small they may begin.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Learn to coupon. Start today. Visit www.quickcouponing.com to get started!

Thanks so much for your tips and insights, Pam. This is a great way to save money while starting a business that many of us have overlooked. We wish you all the best with Quick Couponing.

Do you have a tip to help other small business owners save money? Do you need help with your SEO content strategy and public relations? Please write to us below or visit www.rembrandtwrites.com for more information.

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Small Business Public Relations Tips to Boost Sales Now http://www.startupnation.com/grow-your-business/get-more-sales/small-business-public-relations-tips-to-boost-sales-now/ http://www.startupnation.com/grow-your-business/get-more-sales/small-business-public-relations-tips-to-boost-sales-now/#comments Thu, 23 May 2013 18:27:56 +0000 http://www.startupnation.com/business-blogs/?p=5216 Is your PR program helping your small business succeed? If you just launched a new business and want to build buzz fast, or you are a struggling small business owner who needs to increase sales right away, try these… 3 Public Relations Tips for Your Small Business to Boost Sales and Awareness Now! 1. Post [...]

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Is your PR program helping your small business succeed?

If you just launched a new business and want to build buzz fast, or you are a struggling small business owner who needs to increase sales right away, try these…

3 Public Relations Tips for Your Small Business to Boost Sales and Awareness Now!

1. Post an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Press Release.

To boost online attention right away, take a look at the press releases at PRNewswire, www.prnewswire.com. Then, write your release by following their specific format (The Associated Press Style Guide format). Provide valuable information to your customers and include your top keywords for the search engines in your header, subhead and a few times in the body of your release.

Once you have proofread the release for errors, simply post the release on free sites online related to news and your industry. You can find these sites by doing a search for “free press release distribution” or looking for sites relative to your products, service and audience. If you want to spend a little money on distribution, check out the many services available and see what fits your budget and goals best.

2. Give a Presentation.

Where does your target market go to get information? Check out various organizations and associations in your local area and offer to give a presentation to their members. Just be sure to provide valuable information and wait to give your sales pitch at the very end of your presentation.

This way, you’ll meet new customers and appear to be an expert in your field. You can even invite local media-members to attend. Who knows? The local television news station may show up to cover your public relations event!

3. Offer a Tip Sheet, Newsletter, Case Study, or Something Cool!

What do potential customers get when they come to your site? Are you providing valuable information and answering their questions, or are you just selling your products and services?

Copywriting is an important part of public relations. If you can create some kind of interesting tip sheet, newsletter, case study, or other, electronic “gift,” you’ll win over new customers and start spreading positive, word-of-mouth.

Just think about what your customers want and give it to them in a way only your business can (examples: Top 10 Ways to Save Money at the Grocery Store, How to Reduce Your Energy Bill by 80% in 30 Days or Less, What Never to Eat at Airports – You get the idea.) And once you are ready to give away your “gift,” send out an SEO press release to announce it!

Small Business Public Relations Just Takes Time and Creativity

If you want to boost sales and awareness for your small business, take advantage of cost-effective public relations activities. Be creative and think of ways to provide valuable information to potential customers. Then, contact the press and let them know what you are doing. This may sound simple, but you can generate a lot of buzz with these three tips. Give them a try and let me know what happens!
If you’d like help with your small business public relations, please provide your comments below or contact me at www.rembrandtwrites.com.

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Good PR Results Not Possible? Baloney! http://www.startupnation.com/grow-your-business/run-your-business-better/good-pr-results/ http://www.startupnation.com/grow-your-business/run-your-business-better/good-pr-results/#comments Thu, 02 May 2013 19:54:40 +0000 http://www.startupnation.com/business-blogs/?p=5211 Are You Getting the PR Reports Necessary for Success? By Melanie Rembrandt For many years, it was very difficult to show the results of a public relations, or PR, campaign. After all, you could spend hours on the phone pitching media members and not see any results. Plus, due to the nature of public relations, [...]

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Are You Getting the PR Reports Necessary for Success?

By Melanie Rembrandt

For many years, it was very difficult to show the results of a public relations, or PR, campaign. After all, you could spend hours on the phone pitching media members and not see any results. Plus, due to the nature of public relations, no one can guarantee results (Hint – if you hear a PR person tell you that they can guarantee results – Run!).

The final say as to whether the media broadcasts or publishes your story is always up to the editors, producers and publishers out there. Basically, you have no control over the final outcomes of your pitching efforts or exactly what will be said about your company if a story does go live.

However, with today’s technology, you can see if a campaign is working or not and make the appropriate changes to save time and money. How?

3 Ways to Get Valuable Reports on Your PR Efforts

1. Start with a plan.

Instead of just sending out a press release because you have news, create a plan with goals. What do you want to accomplish? Do you want to bring more people to your site, increase sales, get more newsletter registrations, or something else?

Once you know what you want to accomplish, figure out how the press release fits into these goals along with your other, marketing efforts and how you are going to measure results.

2. Use specific links.

One way to measure the results of your PR activities is to take advantage of technology and have Google Analytics in place on your site (or another tool that tracks information about site visitors). Include a specific link in your press release or promotional copy. Have that link go to a specific landing page on your site that talks about your specific news. Then, have a link on that landing page that goes to a sales page, shopping cart page, newsletter registration page, etc. This way, you can track exactly how many people click on the link in your press release and on your landing page. And you can also see how many people actually take the actions you set up in your plan.

3. Use Search Engine Optimization, or SEO.

All of your online copy should be optimized for the search engines. If not, you will lose online visibility to the competition. Plus, it’s a great way to track results of your PR efforts. For example, once you optimize your press releases, landing pages and other PR copy for the search engines, check the results. Does your information show up on the search engines for your top keywords? How do your rankings compare to competitors?

Get the PR and SEO Data You Need for Success!

Once your PR copy goes live, look at your Google analytics and search-engine results. Did you reach the goals you set in your initial plan? Did people click on your links and take the actions you wanted them to follow on your site?

If not, look carefully at the data and figure out what your site visitors clicked on most. Then, develop your next PR plan. But this time, make changes using what you learned from the data. Do the entire process again, and check your results. Over time, you’ll figure out what works best for your specific target audience. Then, you can start to take advantage of the PR and SEO copy and activities that work and avoid wasting time on those that are not.

Today, you can use online data to track exactly what your customers want to see and what your competition is doing. By having a plan, using SEO and strategic landing pages and links on your site, you can see specific results from your PR efforts.

For more information to help boost sales with SEO and PR, please visit www.rembrandtwrites.com.

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Did You Lose Money with PR and SEO? http://www.startupnation.com/grow-your-business/maximize-your-marketing/pr-and-seo-3/ http://www.startupnation.com/grow-your-business/maximize-your-marketing/pr-and-seo-3/#comments Thu, 11 Apr 2013 13:31:54 +0000 http://www.startupnation.com/business-blogs/?p=5208 3 Questions To Ask About Your Current, PR and SEO services I get many referrals from business owners who spent a fortune on a top, PR firm or search engine optimization, SEO, services without seeing any results. They spent a lot of money purchasing “well known” services, and now they are weary of hiring another [...]

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3 Questions To Ask About Your Current, PR and SEO services

I get many referrals from business owners who spent a fortune on a top, PR firm or search engine optimization, SEO, services without seeing any results. They spent a lot of money purchasing “well known” services, and now they are weary of hiring another professional to help them.

Don’t Let This Happen To You!

Just because you hire a “top name” in PR or SEO services does not mean you will get results. But if you are an entrepreneur, you just don’t have time to babysit the consultants that you hire. With this in mind, here are….

3 Questions to Discover if You Are Getting Ripped Off with SEO and PR Services

1. Are you seeing results?

Is your PR and SEO consultant or services communicating with you on a regular basis? You should get a monthly report to see what is going on with your PR and SEO activities. If not, ask for one!

2. Have you been waiting a long time for things to happen?

Yes, it takes time to prepare a complete, public relations and SEO campaign. However, there are things your SEO and PR people can do right away to start generating online awareness and buzz. If it takes more than a month to see some kind of results, ask for a timeline of activities and why it is taking so long to get some online attention!

3. Are you paying for unknown services?

What exactly are you paying for? While it’s customary for PR agencies to be paid by retainer, make sure you are not paying for a huge mark-up on outside services like press-release-distribution services, SEO advertising, media research, and other services. Also, find out exactly who is working on your account. You may be paying for a big, well-known agency to do your PR, but if you have a new hire or intern working on your account, you are paying too much!

Get the Right Help.

Good publicists and SEO strategists often charge high rates for their services, but if they know what they’re doing, it’s well worth the money. After all, one, well-placed article can mean thousands in new sales, and one SEO press-release can introduce you to a worldwide audience of new customers. However, there are many people out there giving PR and SEO professionals a bad name.

With this in mind, review your current PR and SEO activities and know what is going on. If you aren’t seeing results, it’s time to ask questions and get answers. And if you have been ripped off by a PR or SEO service, please do not disregard these services for the future. Instead, conduct more due diligence and find new professionals who can actually help you meet your business goals. (Perhaps, you can ask them to start with a test project to reduce your risk and see how your working relationship develops.)

After all, if your competition is using public relations and SEO, and you aren’t, you could risk losing sales and valuable, new customers.

For more PR and SEO tips and information, please write to use below or visit www.rembrandtwrites.com.

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Is Your Spring PR Blooming Yet? http://www.startupnation.com/grow-your-business/powerful-public-relations/is-your-spring-pr-blooming-yet/ http://www.startupnation.com/grow-your-business/powerful-public-relations/is-your-spring-pr-blooming-yet/#comments Thu, 04 Apr 2013 20:21:23 +0000 http://www.startupnation.com/business-blogs/?p=5207 It’s Spring! Time to refresh your PR activities and take action Woo Hoo! It’s finally spring and a time for fresh beginnings – for you and your business. Why not start this season by renewing your relationships with the media and telling targeted producers, editors and journalists about your company’s latest news? But, what’s that? [...]

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It’s Spring!

Time to refresh your PR activities and take action

Woo Hoo! It’s finally spring and a time for fresh beginnings – for you and your business. Why not start this season by renewing your relationships with the media and telling targeted producers, editors and journalists about your company’s latest news?

But, what’s that? You say you don’t have any good news to share?

Nonsense! If you really don’t have anything to share, make your own news!

Here are 3 ideas to help you get your PR activities started…

1. Take part in a community event, or create your own.

Give something back and encourage others to do the same. You’ll help others in need while creating a newsworthy event.

2. Submit an opinion piece.

Write to your local newspaper, and provide your opinion about a published story or current, news item. This can help build credibility and awareness for your business when written in a positive manner.

3. Give a presentation.

Speak at a local, community college, business group or other organization attended by your target-audience members.

Provide valuable information without giving a sales pitch, and invite pertinent reporters. You’ll establish yourself as an expert and meet potential new customers while increasing your chances of obtaining media coverage.

Spring Forward!

Instead of waiting for potential customers and media members to notice your business, take action and create some publicity! It make take some time and effort, but just one, well-placed article can mean a significant increase in site traffic and sales!

What are you going to do this month to increase your PR activities?

If you need help, feel free to contact me at www.rembrandtwrites.com and check out the easy, do-it-yourself steps in “Simple Publicity.”

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Fix a Bad Reputation with Small Business Public Relations and SEO http://www.startupnation.com/grow-your-business/get-more-sales/small-business-pr-and-seo/ http://www.startupnation.com/grow-your-business/get-more-sales/small-business-pr-and-seo/#comments Thu, 21 Mar 2013 10:47:02 +0000 http://www.startupnation.com/business-blogs/?p=5206 What are you doing to increase credibility at your small business? By Melanie Rembrandt Are people saying bad things about your small business online? Do negative comments appear at the top of the search engines when you do a search for your business name? Well, instead of sitting back and watching your sales and credibility [...]

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What are you doing to increase credibility at your small business?

By Melanie Rembrandt

Are people saying bad things about your small business online? Do negative comments appear at the top of the search engines when you do a search for your business name?

Well, instead of sitting back and watching your sales and credibility decline, take action!

Small Business Public Relations and SEO to the Rescue!

If you want to increase the number of positive mentions that appear at the top of the search engines when potential customers search for information about your business, it’s time to implement a PR and SEO strategy. Here are three things you can do right now to help your online reputation:

1. Post an SEO Press Release.

Write a press release about something newsworthy at your business. Ensure that it provides valuable information, is written in the appropriate AP Style, and potential customers will want to read it. Then, make sure it is optimized for the search engines with the appropriate keywords and links. If you don’t know how to do this, it is well worth it to hire an SEO copywriter to do it for you. Then, post the press release on free sites and use a low-cost distribution service, if possible.

2. Write an SEO Blog.

Post some new and valuable information on your site for your customers. Share some industry insights or expert tips. Write a blog that’s at least 350 words and then optimize it for the search engines. Then, post it on an industry site or your site.

3. Write an Optimized Article or Tip Sheet.

Create a Tip Sheet, eBook or ePamphlet that provides valuable information and is user-friendly. Again, ensure that it is optimized for the search engines, and post it online. Perhaps, you can give it away as a free gift when people register for your newsletter?

Repeat the Process.

Once you start posting and promoting valuable information online that has the correct SEO, you will start to see negative comments about your business move down on search-engine listings. If done correctly, they will be replaced with more positive information that you have some control over.

And for the best ROI, I highly recommend you work with an experienced SEO strategist/publicist. This way, you’ll see better results faster, and you can concentrate on your core, business activities.

Are you ready to improve your online reputation with SEO and PR? Get more information at www.rembrandtwrites.com.

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7 Press Release Sins – Are You Guilty? http://www.startupnation.com/grow-your-business/get-more-sales/7-press-release-sins/ http://www.startupnation.com/grow-your-business/get-more-sales/7-press-release-sins/#comments Thu, 21 Feb 2013 14:00:24 +0000 http://www.startupnation.com/business-blogs/?p=5202 Save Money and Get Better Results with your PR Efforts If you look on the Internet, you will see some horrible press releases. And the businesses that distributed them probably thought they would be inundated with media and sales inquiries as soon as the press releases went live. Has this happened to you? If so, [...]

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Save Money and Get Better Results with your PR Efforts

If you look on the Internet, you will see some horrible press releases. And the businesses that distributed them probably thought they would be inundated with media and sales inquiries as soon as the press releases went live. Has this happened to you? If so,

Are You Guilty of These 7 Press Release Sins?


1. Is it newsworthy?

While you may think that increasing sales by 40% or having an internal birthday party is news, the media and your target market may not. Before taking the time and effort to issue a press release, ask yourself if it really is newsworthy.

2. Why are you posting the press release?

Before writing your press release, figure out if you are trying to build online buzz with search engine optimization (SEO), spread the word about a newsworthy event to a specific audience, get media coverage, or something else. After all, if you are a small business looking for a big, cover-story, you will not get it from a simple press release. You will be better off pitching specific media-members via phone.

3. Is your press release optimized for the search engines?

If you don’t add specific keywords to your press release in the right location, you are missing out on a huge and inexpensive opportunity to be at the top of the search engines. Period.

4. Did you add a specific link to a Web page?

How are you tracking the results of your release? If you don’t add a hyperlink to a specific Web page in your press release, how are you going to know how many people were really interested in your news and took action because of it?

5. Is your press release free of errors?

Is your press release well-written in the standard, AP style? If you distribute a boring release that has errors, you will make a bad impression. Instead, hire a professional, SEO copywriter to help you write and proofread your release.

6. Did you spend too much on press-release distribution?

If you are a small business announcing an award, promotion or other, internal news, don’t spend thousands on sending the release out via a wire service. Instead, pitch specific media-members who will be interested in the news, and post your release on less expensive or free, industry-related sites.

7. What time did you distribute you press release?

If you distribute your press release after office hours, you will not get as many media members seeing your news. Send out your release when you know your targeted, media-members are in the office (and not on deadline). You also want to make sure you are available to respond to calls when your press-release posts.

Stop Wasting Time and Money!

So many people think that “PR” equals “press release.” It does not. Before you send out a release, know why you are sending it, what you want to accomplish and how you are going to track results. Then, have a professional SEO copywriter write and proof it for you and figure out the best distribution plan to accomplish your goals.

Well-written, newsworthy press releases with SEO can significantly increase online awareness and sales cost-effectively. But if you don’t put some thought and effort into your press-release process, you will waste time and money and see little results.

For more help avoiding these press release sins, please write to me below or at www.rembrandtwrites.com.

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Got These 3, Key Communication Tools? http://www.startupnation.com/grow-your-business/run-your-business-better/communication-tools/ http://www.startupnation.com/grow-your-business/run-your-business-better/communication-tools/#comments Fri, 15 Feb 2013 14:06:06 +0000 http://www.startupnation.com/business-blogs/?p=5201 We all know that communicating with your associates, customers and team members is a key to success, but with taxes, events, monthly meetings, and everything else going on at your organization right now, your communications efforts may be lagging. Here are three, key questions to ask yourself to help stay on track with your business [...]

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We all know that communicating with your associates, customers and team members is a key to success, but with taxes, events, monthly meetings, and everything else going on at your organization right now, your communications efforts may be lagging.

Here are three, key questions to ask yourself to help stay on track with your business goals.

1. What is your Website saying?

When people visit your Website, what message do they receive?

If there are broken links, old blog entries and boring content, you will lose potential, new customers fast. These things may be on the bottom of your “to do” list, but it’s important to move them up as a priority. After all, you may be losing thousands of dollars in sales from one, faulty link!

2. Do you need to return messages?

Do you have a bunch of e-mail and voicemail messages to return?

When you get busy, it can be easy to push responses aside and forget about them. But this is not good business etiquette. Return your messages within 24 hours at the most. This way, you can get them off of your list and move on to other tasks.

If you ignore your inbox, you may be missing out on potential business, press opportunities and more. And if you don’t have the courtesy to provide responses, you are creating a bad impression that can reduce your industry reputation, customer satisfaction and overall sales in the future.

3. What is the status of current projects?

While keeping track of your Website content and returning messages is important, don’t forget about in-person interactions. While it may be easier to text a quick message, nothing beats talking to a team member face-to-face. This way, you can check the status of current projects, provide input, answer questions, and ensure things are going smoothly.

And if you are worried about your communication skills or wasting time in a meeting, just set aside a few minutes to touch base with someone on a particular project. Then, use this time to ask questions, and let the other person do the talking. Over time, you’ll get better at keeping your interactions succinct but meaningful.

Relationships are Important.

Business moves fast, but that’s no reason to minimize your communication efforts. Check your Website and provide the most valuable information you can to site visitors. Review your inbox and provide responses to people who are waiting to hear from you. And finally, don’t forget to get out of your office and talk to your team members. This way, you’ll create valuable relationships with all of the people you work with while building credibility that can help increase online awareness and sales.

Are you taking advantage of all the communication opportunities possible to build sales, awareness and credibility? For more information on SEO and PR activities, please write to me below or at www.rembrandtwrites.com.

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